A-Z Guide to Removing Smells From Your Home

In my home, there’s always something going on – from preparing lunch in the kitchen to having fun with my dogs in the living room. However, switching activities so quickly can cause unpleasant odors to creep up. The kitchen is the center of activity in my home, from cooking to frying with a side of pet odors. This combination often leaves behind an awful smell that infiltrates every corner. Smoke and grease are just two more culprits for why the air quality can be so poor inside our home.

To mitigate the issue, I used to light candles and plug air fresheners, spray chemicals, etc. However, I was aware that these methods were only temporary fixes and not addressing the core of my odor problem. Not to mention the harmful chemicals that were released into the air as a result of these methods.

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That’s why I decided to look for more natural solutions and learn about how to naturally get rid of odors in my home. I wanted an environmentally friendly approach that would address the root cause of the smells.

I soon discovered that it wasn’t enough to just mask odors with candles or sprays – I had to focus on the source of the smell. From there, I began cleaning more thoroughly than before with a specific focus on getting rid of bacteria and unhealthy particles in the air.

After researching different techniques, I discovered some simple and effective approaches to removing bad odors from my home. This included thorough cleaning of surfaces, using essential oils and vinegar-based cleaners, opening windows, employing air purifiers, and using fans to increase ventilation.

After conducting diligent research and experimenting, I created a helpful A-Z guide of my own to eliminate unwanted smells in my home. With this guide, you’ll be able to identify the cause of your odors and unleash natural, non-toxic solutions that will leave your home smelling fresh.

Follow my A-Z guide to removing bad smells from your home, and you’ll never have to worry about nasty odors again.

A-Z Guide to Removing Smells From Your Home


Animal odors like cats, dogs, and yes even skunks can be hard to manage. First and foremost, the source of these odors must be removed and properly cleaned or discarded. Depending on the animal and the damage is done, this could mean replacing furniture and carpets. After the animal is gone, it’s time to tackle the smell that remains.

  • In order to keep the air in your pet’s living space fresh, leave charcoal bags around the area – they’ll absorb any lingering odors.
  • Try using a vinegar solution (1 part vinegar and 1 part water) to mop away any lingering odors.
  • You can also try baking soda or activated charcoal bags to absorb the scent.
  • Use a natural cleaner such as vinegar and water mixture to clean surfaces where the animals had been living.
  • To remove odors from carpeting, sprinkle baking soda on it and let it sit overnight before vacuuming it up the next day.

Dislike the smell of vinegar? Add several drops of lavender, peppermint, or rosemary essential oil, such as lemon or peppermint, and you will immediately notice an uplifting aroma that masks the vinegar scent. Keep in mind: The odor of vinegar is only temporary.


Bathroom odors vary. Aside from human waste, you can also encounter moldy smells and product odors. I actually prefer to start with a clean-smelling base in the bathroom and use a water-based air purifier to keep the air smelling fresh.

  • To eliminate human waste odor, start by using a natural cleaner such as vinegar and water mixture to clean surfaces where the urine had been. Then regularly clean all surfaces with soap and water.
  • You can also absorb odors from the air with activated charcoal and baking soda – just be sure to keep these out of reach from children and pets!
  • Finally, You can also use an essential oil diffuser or a spray made with natural ingredients such as witch hazel or vodka to reduce bathroom smells.

Burnt Foods

A burnt popcorn smell in the kitchen is a common occurrence in my home. Burning food is an easy mistake to make, but it can also be hard to get rid of the smell. The key is to ventilate the kitchen immediately and open any windows if possible.

  • To reduce the smell even further, try placing bowls of vinegar, baking soda, or activated charcoal around the room.
  • Also try simmering a pot of water with some fresh lemon, cinnamon sticks, and cloves on the stove to give your kitchen a pleasant aroma.
  • For the microwave, use a bowl of water with lemon juice in it and zap it for several minutes to reduce the smell.


Similar to burnt food smells, cooking odors can often linger in the kitchen for hours. Garlic, onion, and curry smells are the most common offenders. To combat their strong odors, open windows to help air out the room and use a fan if necessary.

  • Baking soda is an effective way to absorb odors in the kitchen. Simply sprinkle some baking soda in a bowl on the counter or near any vents where smells tend to linger.
  • You can also use natural solutions such as essential oils or simmering pots of spices and herbs on the stove to give your kitchen a pleasant scent.
  • Another hack is to leave a few bowls of white vinegar around the kitchen while you cook. The vinegar will absorb any odors and then you can discard it when finished cooking.

Dryer Vent

Dryer vents tend to be a haven for musty smells. Most people don’t realize the importance of cleaning out the lint trap regularly. Not only does it help with efficiency, but it can also prevent odors from building up in your dryer vent.

  • If you are noticing a musty smell around your home regularly, try using an all-natural cleaner to clean out the lint trap and any buildup.
  • Adding a few drops of essential oil to your dryer sheets can also help reduce musty smells.
  • Wiping the vents with a mixture of essential oils and water can also help to freshen up the area.


From tasty leftovers to takeout and cooking with flavorful spices, many of us are all too familiar with the unpleasant smells food can leave in our homes. It’s also a good idea to immediately clean up after eating, as this will help reduce any smells from lingering around your home.

  • Using a water-based air purifier can help reduce any food odors from sticking around. You can also try simmering a pot of water with fresh herbs, such as lemon or mint, on the stove to give your kitchen an uplifting scent.
  • Baking soda bags is also an effective way to absorb smells in the kitchen and should be used frequently for the best results.
  • For fish odors, it is best to try and reduce the smell as soon as possible. Use a light mist bottle with a mixture of lavender, water, and vinegar to spray over the area, and try to air out the space as much as possible.


No one likes coming home to the smell of garbage. Garbage can often cause a lingering odor in your home that is difficult to get rid of. The best way to tackle this type of odor is to try and reduce it at its source – the trash can itself.

  • Start by taking out your trash as often as possible and make sure all containers are completely sealed shut when not in use.
  • Wiping down the surface of trash cans with a mixture of vinegar, baking soda, and water can also help to reduce any odors that have been trapped inside the container.
  • You can also try placing activated charcoal or baking soda bags in the bottom of your garbage bins to absorb any smells.
  • You may need to invest in an air purifier to help remove any stale smells from the room.


Humidity is a common cause of musty and mildew odors in your home. To reduce humidity levels, you can use dehumidifiers or install exhaust fans that will draw moisture out of the air. It’s also important to keep a regular cleaning schedule for any bathrooms as this will help reduce mold and mildew growth that causes foul-smelling odors.

  • If you’re looking for more natural solutions, try placing bowls of white vinegar in each room. The vinegar will act as a natural dehumidifier by absorbing excess moisture in the air and eliminating odor-causing bacteria.
  • You can also try using essential oils to help freshen up the air – from lavender, lemon or eucalyptus, you’ll be sure to find an oil that works for you
  • Place a few pieces of charcoal around the room and change them out regularly. Charcoal is excellent at absorbing odors and will help keep your home smelling fresh.


Unpleasant smells from laundry can be a challenge to get rid of. To reduce any odors, start by using an enzymatic detergent and make sure you’re using the correct amount for each load.

  • Consider adding a few drops of essential oil to your washing machine to help freshen up clothes and linens.
  • If your washer has an air-dry setting, try using it more often as this will help reduce any mildew or musty odors that may be lingering on your clothes.
  • If you have hard water, use a water softener to help reduce any mineral build-up in the washer that can lead to odors.
  • Using white vinegar as a fabric softener can help to eliminate odors from clothing and bedding.

Mildew, Mold, and Musty Smells

Mildew, mold, and musty smells can be caused by a variety of factors, from dampness to unclean surfaces. To prevent these odors from developing in your home, make sure all rooms are kept dry and well-ventilated.

  • Cleaning bathrooms regularly is also important as this will help reduce any growth of mildew or mold that can lead to bad smells.
  • Using a dehumidifier can help to reduce the humidity levels in your home, which will lower the chances of mildew and mold developing.
  • Baking soda bags placed around the room can absorb any lingering smells and should be changed out regularly for the best results.
  • Water-based air purifiers are also a good option for eliminating odors from mildew, mold, and mustiness.
  • Vinegar can be used to mop floors or clean bathrooms as it is an effective natural cleaner that will reduce any bad smells caused by these elements.
  • Check for any moisture or water leaks that may be causing mildew and mold growth which can lead to odors.


No matter how well you take care of your pet, there will still be times when an unpleasant odor lingers in the house. Regularly vacuuming and mopping floors is a great way to reduce pet smells.

You should also ensure that you’re cleaning up after your pet as soon as possible and not allowing them to leave messes around the house.

  • Use baking soda sprinkled on furniture and carpets to absorb any lingering smells from pets, then vacuum it up afterward.
  • Enzymatic cleaners work well at removing odors from pet urine, so you can use these on any affected areas to help reduce smells.
  • If all else fails, try using an air purifier that is specifically designed for reducing pet odors.
  • You may also want to invest in a pet bed with a removable cover so you can regularly wash it and keep your home smelling fresh.


Cigarette smoke can be difficult to get rid of and may require some extra effort. The best way to tackle these odors is to completely remove the source of the smell. This may mean quitting smoking entirely or at least restricting it to outside areas. Even second-hand smoke can still cause odor problems in your home.

  • Open windows and doors to allow fresh air in and use fans to help circulate it around the room.
  • Charcoal placed in bowls can also be used as it absorbs odors very well, just remember to change them out regularly for best results.
  • Using a combination of baking soda and distilled white vinegar is another great natural way to neutralize strong odors from smoking.
  • Make sure to regularly clean any furniture or fabrics that may have been exposed to smoke odors. This will help to remove any residual odors stuck in the fibers.

No matter what the cause of bad odors is in your home, there are ways to reduce and eliminate them. Regularly cleaning and vacuuming surfaces and fabrics is a great place to start as this will help get rid of any lingering smells. Using natural options such as baking soda, vinegar, or essential oils can also be effective at eliminating odors. Investing in an air purifier may also be worth considering for more persistent odors such as smoke or mustiness. With some effort and dedication, you’ll be able to keep your home smelling fresh and clean.